Projector Reviews

JVC DLA-RS60U Projector: Performance, HDTV and Sports

I’m looking forward to enjoying some 3D sports, so I was rather disappointed trying to watch the Winter X-Games, FIFA, etc., in 3D on the RS60. Oh, I could watch some of them, (others wouldn’t work on the JVC – but ESPN 3D does), but the lack of brightness gets old. I’m not used to watching sports at brightness levels 1/3 or less of what I’m used to for normal movie viewing. A lot of the 3D content, including some of the sports 3D content from channels other than ESPN 3D, won’t work in the JVC RS60 projector.

The JVC RS60, doing 2D is a whole other story. About 750 lumens, while still below the 1000 lumens we consider average over a wide range of home theater projectors, in their brightest mode, is adequate on a pretty large screen. I had those same 750 lumens on my RS20 when it was pointed at my old 128″ diagonal Firehawk G3. I never had as many lumens as I would have liked but it still allowed enough ambient light for a group of people to function properly.

Keep in mind that the quality of the picture from the JVC is going to be a good bit better – more accurate – than you expect to find with most projectors when you have to go to a dynamic mode.

There is a 3D compatibility issue. According to JVC (and Sony tells me the same thing), some HDTV in 3D won’t work on the JVC DLA-RS60 (nor the Sony VW90ES). I use DirecTV as do tens of millions of families in the US. Currently DirecTV typically has up to four 3D channels that have content running part time. One is ESPN3D – no problems at all. One is channel 107 (currently) 3net, which is a 3D channel sponsored by Sony, and others, and that too works fine on both the JVC and the Sony. But the third, and by far the one with the most content, is n3D.

n3D comes over in a 720p 3D mode that is (per JVC and Sony) not one of the standard 3D modes spec’d by HDTV, but rather an optional one. Of the three 1080p 3D projectors here so far, only the Sharp has been able to work with n3D content. (I now have about 40 hours of great 3D content, that I can no longer watch, now that I had to return the Sharp XV-Z17000).

There’s a fourth, occasional channel so far, CINE3D, which seems to be PayTV. You can order, pay, and keep the content on your DVR for about a month. . It’s not exactly dripping in content. Seems to be only one movie a day, which they show several times. That channel works. So the most prolific 3D channel is “dead to you” with the JVC (or Sony) unless these manufacturers decide to get ambitious and update the firmware to support this mode. It’s a 1080p 24fps channel so it likely works, but I haven’t bought any Pay Per View so I don’t know for sure. That means I haven’t tried that channel at all yet.

Forget that the “fault” is n3D’s for not using a “standardized” 3D format, but an optional one. Instead remember, that as of right now, the DirecTV channel with by far the most content that’s non-sports, plus some great 3D sports like the Winter X Games!

Maybe n3D will change their format soon? Regarding Cine3D, I don’t really care that much, not being a PPV kind of guy and considering the limited movies available in 3D. To give you an idea about Cine3D, the next movies: Pirhanna 3D, Jackass 3D, The Last Airbender, and Shrek Forever After 3D. If I only got 4 movies in 4 days, I assure you that at best only Shrek would make my list. In other words – thin!

Bottom line: HDTV Stuff looks great on the RS60: Football, all kinds of HD content, March Madness (if I still had it here), music videos, all look good. Watching great music concert proved downright breathtaking (unfortunately 90% of my music content in 3D has come from the n3D channel which won’t work yet (ever?) on this JVC. There’s a good CFI setup for smooth motion when watching sports – wow, it really works with hockey. I did try viewing a March Madness 3D game on the Sony (which is still here), and it wouldn’t view it.

If JVC’s real smart, their next firmware upgrade will specifically deal with any optional 3D modes DirectTV and the Cable companies are using. I’ve got enough content recorded now to make the Sharp projector a good 3D choice, but with the JVC, I’m left with perhaps only 1/4 of the total content I’ve recorded, (same for the Sony).

More lumens would be nice for 2D as well, but other than that, 2D HDTV is a pleasure, and the lumens are just fine for movie viewing!

Think this way, as an added bonus, you can watch some sports and other content) in 3D, even if significantly dimmer than your 2D viewing. Not bad, if 2D is what you really care about.